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Brief Published: 9 Dec 2020

Disney & Vodafone Collaborate on Next-Gen Kids’ Smartwatch

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Vodafone and Disney have collaborated on a new smartwatch, called Neo. As 50% of UK children have a smartphone by the age of 10 (Ofcom, 2020), tech brands have a responsibility to create devices and experiences that empower kids to enter their digital lives safely.

Launched in December, the device allows communication via text and call, sets daily activity goals to encourage children to exercise, and features a front-facing camera so they can document their daily activities. Appealing to the target ages of four to 11, wearers personalise their watch by selecting a theme based on various Disney characters. The chosen character becomes their in-watch sidekick, and can be changed at any time to reflect the child’s developing personality. 

The watch is designed with security and protection concerns in mind, as all settings are controlled via an app on a parent or guardian’s phone. This allows them to verify contacts the child can call and text, set screen-time limits, track the wearer’s location, and set reminders in the watch’s calendar. As the watch offers no access to social media or internet sites, it safely introduces children to the digital world, while helping parents communicate with their kids without the risks presented by a typical smartphone. 

The device was designed in collaboration with US studio Fuseproject. The company is responsible for the watch’s angled face, which prevents the over-articulation of growing wrists. Studio founder Yves Béhar – a featured speaker at Stylus’s recent Trends Intelligence Summit  – said: “Designing Neo is about balancing the needs of both kids and their parents for safety, ease of use and wearability.”

The smartwatch costs £99 ($132) with a monthly fee of £7 ($9). Registration for purchase is now open for availability in early 2021. See The Brief for more on Fuseproject’s kid-centric tech.

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